About Me

I am an PhD student in the Earth System Science department at Stanford studying Environmental Economics and Climate Change as part of the ECHO Lab under the supervision of Prof. Marshall Burke. In the past, I was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) at the University of Chicago, working at the Climate Impact Lab. In a past life, I was a Data Scientist at DSaPP (now at Carnegie Mellon), and a career bureaucrat at the Central Bank of Colombia.

Research Interests

I am primarily interested in exploring the dynamics of human and earth systems, and the political constrains of environmental change by using the tools from both applied microeconomics and climate science.

Most recently, as part of the NSF NRT Group at UChicago, we have been exploring winter-time weather variability trying to answer the question about extreme weather events under climate change (i.e. are events like this going to be more frequent in the future) and building simple statistical metrics to capture this phenomena.


  1. Bonilla-Mejia, L., & Higuera-Mendieta, I. (2019). Protected Areas under Weak Institutions: Evidence from Colombia. World Development, 122. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.06.019.

    • Ranked second-best paper by the International Sustainable Development Research Society.
    • Press coverage: El Tiempo
  2. Rodolfa, K. T., Salomon, E., Haynes, L., Higuera-Mendieta, I, Larson, J., & Ghani, R. (2020). Case study: Predictive fairness to reduce misdemeanor recidivism through social service interventions. In Proceedings of the 2020 conference on fairness, accountability, and transparency (142–153). FAT* ‘20 . doi:10.1145/3351095.3372863.

  3. Farah, A., Higuera-Mendieta, I, Song, Y., Franke, J. A., Moyer, E., & Nakamura, N. (2020). Arctic airmass displacement and reduced midlatitudes wintertime temperature variability under climate change. [In preparation for Geophysical Research Letters].

    • Presented at the American Geophysical Union Meeting AGU 2020.